Herbal drinks are becoming increasingly popular these days and with the numerous health benefits, it’s not hard to see why. Especially when it comes to green tea, it’s the healthiest drink on the planet, but not everyone knows why.
Green tea is used as a natural medicine to improve health because of its powerful medicinal properties. The drink holds minerals that benefit our health and large amounts of important nutrients such as polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins that work as antioxidants to fight against diseases. These antioxidants can reduce the free radicals in the body by protecting the cells and molecules from damage.
Caffeine and amino acid L-theanine is two of the key, active ingredients within green tea. These two ingredients help to improve brain function and can make you smarter. The caffeine increases neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which allows your brain to function, and improves your mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory. The amino acid L-theanine and the caffeine properties work collectively to give you a different kind of buzz than coffee. The L-theanine has an anti-anxiety effect and increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain; allowing you to have more stable energy and be more productive than the buzz of drinking coffee, which lasts for a short period of time and gives you side effects such as jitters and headaches.
Green tea can help you to lose weight by boosting your metabolic rate which leads to a decrease in body fat; it has been shown to increase fat burning by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues and using them for energy, which in turn improves physical performance. Studies on the beverage have shown a significant decrease in body fat percentage, reduction in body weight, waist circumference and it is particularly effective with abdominal fat.
You can make your own brew at home as studies have shown that the tea does not need the heat and humidity of China to grow as first thought. Instead, it prefers regions with plenty of moisture, as it is grown in the cold, wet and miserable parts of China. There are tea plantations all over the UK from Cornwall to Scotland but now, at less than £20 a pot, people are growing them in their own gardens.
To harvest your green tea leaves you will need to pic the top two leaves and leaf bud on the new spring growth. You then need to steam the leaves for 1-2 minutes and immediately run them under cold water to stop them becoming dehydrated and to retain the green colour. Next, roll the leaves into tubes and place them in a preheated oven of 212-230 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes to ensure drying. Once they are dry store them in a sealed container to use for brewing.
You will need:
- 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves
- Water enough for one cup
- Your favourite mug
- Place a teaspoon of tea leaves into a teapot.
- Boil your water to a temperature of 80 to 90 degrees and add to the leaves.
- Leave for a 3 minutes or more depending how strong you like it.
- Pour the drink into your mug.
- Add honey, lemon or sweeteners to your preferred taste.